Our hero, Raymond Berglund Sr, 68 of Coloma, loving husband, proud father and delighted grandfather died peacefully at St. Michael’s Ascension Hospital, surrounded by his family Friday, July 30, 2021. Ray along with the wonderful staff of St. Michael's fought courageously against the effects of Covid-19 for over 74 days.
He was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut December 6, 1952 to William and Lillian (Myers) Berglund. He was a firecracker of a boy, accidentally lighting the family home on fire, crashing his bike while wearing roller skates, and running away to join the Navy before finishing high school. Ray served proudly during the Vietnam Conflict on the USS Saratoga. In his later years, he found great joy in reconnecting with former crewmates. Early in his Navy service, a friend shared with Ray that Jesus Christ loved him and had a purpose for his life; while offering forgiveness and salvation. With this profound new hope and freedom, Ray set his eyes on finding a partner in life who shared his faith. While portside in Jacksonville, FL his heart stood still when he saw Delores “Dee” Morris. Dee and Ray were married April 13, 1974 in Montello. After 47 years of marriage, Dee still made his heart swell with love and pride. The other prides of his life include his two children, Rebecca "Becky" (Tim) Borud of Coloma and Raymond “Dave” (Lorelle (Neef)) Berglund Jr, of Green Bay.
Ray was enormously proud of daughter Becky’s commitment to loving foster children and adding grandchildren to his legacy through adoption. He loved bouncing babies on his knee, driving the grandpa taxi, filling the gym with his voice at sporting events, and telling his grandkids exactly how it is -before retreating to the quiet of his easy chair. He was also very proud of his son Raymond Jr "Dave" for his service as a police officer. Ray enjoyed riding along with his son in his squad and bragging to anyone who would listen about his children (even when asked not to!)
Ray served as a Correctional Officer at Columbia County Correctional Institute for over 25 years, enjoying many of his colleagues and some, not so much. While at CCI and after he retired, Ray encouraged many inmates in their faith in Christ, often writing, visiting, and accepting their phone calls. He was very proud of those who became better men through a mentoring program called, ‘Quest for Authentic Manhood 33 the Series.’ Ray was passionate about leading other men to be the best version of themselves. He taught that faith, devoted marriage, and confronting wounds experienced throughout life was what made a man truly strong.
Ray loved his family deeply; including his siblings, nieces, nephews, and their children. His greatest desire, that he professed up to his last day, was that his family would know the freedom and peace found in a relationship with Christ. While sometimes known as a bit of a curmudgeon, Ray's huge heart and legacy of breaking free from chains, lives on in all who truly knew him. Rest easy, soldier, you fought the good fight, your battle is won.
Ray is survived by the love of his life DeeDee Berglund, daughter Becky (Tim) Borud, grandchildren Lizzie, Josh, Sarah, Hannah, Isaac, John Michael; son Dave (Lorelle) Berglund, grandchildren Marlee and Maycee; siblings, Kathy Berglund Toth, Sue Berglund Toth, Ron Berglund, and Sherrie Berglund; nieces,Teresa Bachman, Linda Williams, Jennifer Toth, Shelly Imler, Samantha Hoxsie, Tracy Toth, Tammy Toth, Michelle Toth, Lorie Cerritelli, Michelle Carmody, Jena Berglund; great nieces and nephews, Josh Smith, Jess Smith, Justin Bachman, Kilei Williams, Micheal Reed, and Brittany Reed, Luka, Marco, Scott, Hunter, Jessa, Coral; great great nephews, Jayden and Maddox and close family friend Manny Boersma. He was preceded in death by his parents, William Berglund and Lillian (Myers) Berglund, in-laws Beatrice and Glenn Morris, sister Lee Berglund Edmunds, and brother Steve Berglund.
Memorial Services with full military honors will be held Wednesday, August 4 at 11 A.M. at Waushara Community Church in Wautoma. Visitation will be held Tuesday, August 3 from 4-7 P.M. at Waushara Community Church and gain from 9:30 A.M. until the time of service at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the family. Per Ray’s long standing request, please honor him by wearing blue jeans if attending. Online condolences may be made at www.grassefs.com. Grasse Funeral Service of Pardeeville is serving the family.
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